Friday, February 18, 2011

Transit Strike in Loudoun County a Possibility

Local media reported yesterday that there was a transit strike in Loudoun County.

The Loudoun Times reported that "Workers for Veolia Transportation, which manages Loudoun County Transit’s bus fleet, on Feb. 16 marched into the company’s office in Purcellville and demanded a fair contract with better wages and benefits.

"The workers, members of the Teamsters Local 570, based in Baltimore, have been in contract negotiations with Veolia since November 2009. Teamsters Local 570 represents 78 drivers, mechanics and utility workers."

WTOP Radio reported that the Teamsters union representing the bus drivers and mechanics of Loudoun County Transit says the employees want a new contract to replace one that expires March 3 and has already been extended since 2009. A spokesman for the union says if the sides don't reach some kind of deal, a "strike is an option."

"The starting salary for drivers is about $15 per hour with steps up to $17.65. But Union spokesman Sean Cedenio says Veolia is trying to lower that amount in a new contract, even though the county has been steadily increasing its subsidy each year."

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